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Eating a Paleo Diet: What Does That Mean? How Does It Work?

Eating a Paleo Diet: What Does That Mean? How Does It Work?

The Paleo Diet: What is it? And does it work?

The Paleo Diet, or hunter-gatherer diet is based on foods Paleolithic humans would have eaten. This type of eating is also known as primal or caveman.

The Paleo diet consists of real, whole foods so it focuses primarily on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. This is because in the paleolithic period there was no processed foods, it was purely about eating from the earth.  It therefore eliminates a whole range of processed or man-made foods that contain preservatives, hidden sugars, sodium, additives, coloring, and artificial flavorings.

Despite the Paleo diet being based on the presumed diet of the Paleolithic humans, it is a modern nutritional plan that has seen a huge rise in popularity over the last number of years, mainly due to the amount of success stories achieved by those following it.

It is based on the premise that human genetics have scarcely changed since the Agricultural Revolution (also called the Neolithic Revolution) some 10,000 years ago, therefore modern humans are adaptable to the diet or diets of the Paleolithic period.

It has become a ‘go to’ nutrition protocol for many, with some believing it is how everyone should be eating.

As a result, the Paleo diet has become a controversial topic in the nutrition world.

Gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin first popularized the Paleo diet back in the mid 1970’s. He was among one of the first to suggest that a person could greatly improve their health by following a diet like that of the Paleolithic era.

In 1989, Steffan Lindeberg conducted a scientific study known as the Kitava Study. This looked at the non-Westernized populations of Kitava in Papua New Guinea, which highlighted a correlation between diet and Western diseases.

This is because the population of Kitava did not suffer from the same medical diseases as seen in those eating a Western type diet.

Since the 1990’s we have therefore seen an increasing popularity for the return to a so called Paleolithic diet by many medical practitioners and nutritionists.

In the modern world this means following a diet from cultivated plants and domesticated animals’ meat. It consists of foods that can be fished and hunted, such as seafood and meat; foods that can be gathered, such as, eggs, fruit, herbs, insects, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, spices and vegetables.

Also, the typical recommendations for meat consumption is that they are free-range or grass-fed, as they will contain less toxins and higher nutrient profiles compared to grain-fed domestic meats.

For foods that can be gathered, it is suggested these are organic and locally grown, again to reduce pollution and potential toxicity issues.

The rise of popularity of the Paleo diet is due to a number of benefits that people can experience from following it consistently.

People following the Paleo diet may experience the following benefits:

  • Increased and more stable energy levels
  • Improved sleep
  • Cleaner skin and healthier looking hair
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved mood and attitude
  • Improvements in those suffering depression and anxiety
  • Less or no bloating, decreased gas
  • Sustained weight loss
  • Muscle growth, increased fitness
  • Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being
  • Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Improved lipid profiles
  • Healthier gut
  • Better absorption of nutrients from foods
  • Reduced allergies
  • Improvements in those with respiratory problems, such as asthma

Going by the above list the Paleo diet has a lot to offer, so it’s important to understand why we may see such extensive benefits.

  • Weight Loss:
    • When you stop eating high calorie, high carbohydrate foods like dairy, rice, oats and bread, you’ll be likely to experience weight loss. The primary sources of carbohydrates in the Paleo diet are fruit and vegetables. By eliminating a particular food group from the diet, we reduce our daily intake of calories which will lead to weight loss.
  • Heart Health
    • On the Paleo diet you consume higher amounts of quality meat and fish, which leads to an increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids. According to the American Heart Association, increased Omega 3 consumption lowers your blood pressure, decreases triglyceride levels and reduces your risk of sudden cardiac death. The increased fiber intake can also improve your cholesterol levels, which helps your heart health. 
  • Lower Diabetes Risk
    • Eating a diet based around whole, single ingredient foods, including one high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, helps to control blood sugar levels. This has a considerable effect on managing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, and even reversing the symptoms of it. 
  • Reduced Autoimmune Disorders
    • With the Paleo diet, we are removing many common foods that cause inflammation in the gut and to which many people have intolerances, sensitivities or allergies. This includes food groups like grains (gluten), dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshade vegetables. Such a diet may yield relief from leaky gut syndrome and thus autoimmune disorders. 

So who is this for?

Essentially, the Paleo diet is focused around quality meats, fish, and vegetables with some fruit and nuts. It’s difficult to argue against the fact that this is a great ‘foundation’ diet for those seeking optimal body composition and health, and there are plenty of testimonials to back this up.

So a better question might be – Who is this diet not right for?

Despite the modern nutrition protocol being very simple, that does not mean it is easy to follow – have you ever tried to live on just meat and vegetables alone?

Due to the limited nature of the Paleo diet, many can find they are excluding too many food items at once, and fall off the wagon completely. It is quite a restrictive diet protocol, and in today’s modern society where we are surrounded by non Paleo foods, it can feel very repetitive and dull.

Since we now understand the reasons why we might see so many benefits, it may be possible to achieve sufficient results without necessarily applying the full protocol. We can therefore extract the ‘good’ bits we need.

At Basic Nutrition we believe in eating real foods as much as possible, and while we dislike associating the work diet to that theory- the paleo diet is the closest “diet” in todays modern times that we agree with. Eating real foods is a lifestyle, and its ok to enjoy sweets and processed foods in moderation, but if you try your best to eat foods that are wholesome and would follow under Paleo, you most likely will start to feel better, look better, and perform better.

 

 

 

 

Snack Ideas for Student Athletes

Snack Ideas for Student Athletes

A few weeks ago, I went into Target and saw several products of foods we would personally recommend to my student-athletes and active adult clients. While we will always preach eating real foods, that are low processed first, these options are great for anyone with limited time and little to no cooking skills, but would still like to improve their health.

Many of these items and ideas are great for the pantry at home, to pack in a backpack, have on hand during summer break or for the college dorm!

Just because you are low on time, are stopping at a gas station, or are traveling, does not mean that you have to sacrifice eating healthy. Below are some easy and quick ideas for meals on a time crunch.

BREAKFAST:

  • English muffin cut in half with sliced avocado paired with 3/4 cup Greek yogurt and mixed blueberries and raspberries.
  • A glass of Fairlife chocolate milk or plant-based alternative + Kashi cereal
  • Greek yogurt parfait: Make the night beforehand (Greek yogurt, berries, chia, nut butter)
  • English muffin/Whole-grain pita wrap with mashed banana and peanut butter
  • Toast + 2 oz. deli turkey + 1 oz. cheese + tomato wedges paired with chocolate CorePower
  • Hard-boiled eggs + apple + string cheese
  • Kodiak instant oatmeal+strawberries + Greek yogurt
  • Kodiak Cakes Power Cup Muffins(12 g of protein but you can add milk and Greek yogurt to increase protein) + fruit for more energy!
  • Kodiak cake frozen waffles or pancakes paired with grab n-go nut butter packets + 1 apple 
  • RX nut butter packets or Nuts ‘N More

LUNCH:

  • Spinach bowl topped with two hard-boiled eggs + 1-2 tbsp chickpeas, raspberries, almonds + avocado slices + Kind bar
  • Greek yogurt parfait, pepper/cucumber slices, apple, RX bar, cheese sticK
  • Banza Microwavable lentil pasta + add pre-cooked meat + cheese + marinara sauce
  • Whole-grain pita with 3 oz. deli ham + carrot sticks + kiwi slices + almonds
  • Whole-grain turkey cheese, spinach, tomato sandwich with mashed avocado + mixed fruit cup + serving of whole-grain pretzels
  • Tuna packet (17 g of protein)

DINNER:

  • Microwavable sweet potato
  • Grilled chicken salad: 2 oz of pre-grilled chicken added to a bed of spinach + romaine + ½ cup black beans/chickpea mix + mixed cheese blend, 1 sliced hardboiled egg, 1 tbsp. sunflower seeds with a dressing of choice. Highly recommend Bolthouse Farms Greek yogurt as a healthy dressing.
  • Frozen bag of riced veggies cooked in the microwave that can be topped with edamame, salsa, in a whole-grain tortilla, shredded pre-made pulled pork, cheddar cheese blend with avocado slices.

SNACKS ON THE GO:

Snack pairings (snacks should contain protein and carb) for athletes and for less active days a protein + a plant/healthy fat).
  • Snack pack nut butter + fruit
  • Greek Yogurt Cup + Almonds
  • Tuna Packet + Veggies
  • Sting cheese + Applesauce
  • RX Bar
  • Fruit
  • Grapes + Cottage Cheese
  • Hard-Boiled egg, nuts, dried fruit (healthy trail mix)
  • Hummus + celery/ cucumber/ carrot
  • Teriyaki beef jerky
  • Pre-cut bell pepper slices
  • Serving of trail mix + 2 hard boiled eggs

SUPPLEMENTS:

Whole meals first, supplement second. Supplements are meant to satisfy small gaps in nutrition and to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Good nutritional habits must be established first. For additional guidance to ensure your athletes are meeting their protein and carbohydrate needs check contact us at info@basiclivingbr.com for Nutrition Coaching and Guidance. No supplement can replace whole foods. Eat real foods.

Next time you are out for a road trip, need a quick pick me up, or just forgot to plan your meals, referance this post for easy options that can be found even at a gas station. Don’t sacrifice eating healthy because of time constraints. 

 

Happy healthy living!

Your Circumstances & Thoughts Shape You

Your Circumstances & Thoughts Shape You

When you understand the five factors that influence your identity, you can start on the road to becoming all of who you were meant you to be. The first two factors are chemistry (how you are made) and connections (your relationships); you are a product of the way you are created and of the relationships in your life. The next two factors are your circumstances and your consciousness.

Circumstances are the things that happen to you and around you—none of which you control. You are a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped your life. Perhaps even abuse has affected your identity. If you’ve ever experienced a catastrophe or a series of failures, those too have left an indelible mark on who you are.

Consciousness is how you talk to yourself. “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” 

Your thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt you; you just have to believe them. If you tell yourself, you can’t run a marathon, then you won’t give yourself the ability to try. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life!

If you’re like many people, your thoughts are filled with the lies you’ve heard from others. You repeat those thoughts in your head. As you let them simmer and fester, they go deeper into your consciousness and begin to shape your identity. The truth is, if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be friends with them anymore.

Though it’s true that your thoughts shape you, it’s also true that you can change the way you think.

Remember: Your circumstances may be out of your control, but your thoughts shape you, start to think good thoughts, and it will be easier to see the positive in situations, rather than automatically seeing the negative. This will lead to you living happier, thinking more highly of yourself, and being more present with your friends & family. You don’t need the approval from someone else, you need your approval from yourself.

Your circumstances and consciousness have shaped who you are up until today. But, moving forward, the way you respond to your circumstances and the thoughts you choose to believe will shape the rest of your life.

Things to think about:

  • What is your natural response to a difficult situation or circumstance? Do you run away or face it? Do you worry or trust?
  • Who or what around you influence your thoughts in a negative way?
  • How do you need to change the way you think?

 

 

 

12 Small Steps for Better Basic Nutrition

12 Small Steps for Better Basic Nutrition

When it comes to a healthy diet, people often get overwhelmed and are unsure of where to start, preventing them from starting at all. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. All you need to do is take a few small steps for better nutrition, one at at time and let those small steps add up to big change.

By slowly implementing these 12 small steps for better nutrition, you’ll feel better, look better, have more energy and be ready to tackle improving all areas of your health including sleep, exercise and mental health and wellbeing.

THE POWER OF SMALL CHANGE

Making small changes to your diet, step by step, is a great way to build healthy habits without feeling overwhelmed. Over time, we begin to adjust to these the changes and they start to feel normal.

People often try too may things at once, or they try to go cold turkey, or attempt the new newest fad diet, only to fail and give up completely. Making such drastic changes is too hard to sustain. Here’s the thing, the process is much, much easier than that.

Small steps, take one at a time, makes the whole process of lifestyle change totally doable and ultimately sustainable. Nothing has to happen overnight. It might take a year to overhaul your nutrition. That’s fine! In terms of our whole entire lives, a year is nothing.

12 WEEKS TO A HEALTHIER YOU

Each week for the next 12 weeks, focus on one of these small steps for better nutrition, adding in a new one each week. Before you now it, 3 months down the road you’ll be eating healthier than ever, feeling great and ready to tackle even more positive change. Let’s get started.

WEEK 1: BUILD A BETTER BREAKFAST

Each week, you’re working on building a foundation of nutrition and all of these small changes compliment each other to create that foundation.

This weeks focus is starting every day with a healthy, balanced breakfast. It’s time to ditch the drive-through breakfast sandwiches and coffee-shop muffins.

WEEK 2: EAT A SALAD EVERYDAY FOR 1 WEEK

For the first week on your journey to better nutrition, the goal is to eat one salad everyday. Luckily for you, salads don’t have to be a boring old iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato ordeal nor do they have to be complicated. Check out some of our salad recipes on our Basic Eats page>>

WEEK 3: SWAP GRAINS FOR GREENS TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES

Grains offer a number of excellent health benefits but they don’t have to make up the base of your diet whether you eat meat or not. This week the goal is to swap out some of your grains for more vegetables.

Here are some ideas for sneaking more veggies into your diet by using them to replace some of the grains you eat. Remember, it’s not all or nothing so focus on 1 or 2 swaps this week and build from there:

  • swap rice for cauliflower rice, parsnip rice or broccoli rice
  • try zucchini noodles or another veggie noodle
  • eat a big salad for dinner loaded with seeds, nuts and protein
  • try cauliflower pizza crust
  • make lettuce wraps loaded with veggies and hummus

WEEK 4: IMPROVE HYDRATION

Alright guys, so we’re still getting in our daily salad, eating a wholesome breakfast, and swapping the grains for green. Hopefully those habits are starting to feel like a normal part of your routine.

Many people are walking around chronically dehydrated without even realizing it. Try not to wait until your body gets to a point where you’re so thirsty. We’re often not aware that a lot of the ailments we’re experiencing day to day can be due to dehydration so focus on keeping those water levels topped up at all times. We just recorded a podcast on the importance of hydration that is going to launch on our Podcast this week. In the meantime here are some tips for getting in proper hydration:

  • Start every day with a big glass of water
  • Eat hydrating foods like cucumber, greens, melon, celery, radish and tomato
  • Counteract diuretics such as water and caffeinated tea
  • Boost your water with a pinch of sea salt, fresh lemon juice or some berries
  • Cut out sugary drinks
  • Consider a reverse osmosis system or filtered water system such as Santiveia or Burke
  • Use a water tracking app if you often forget to drink water
  • Have a good water bottle that you like with you at all times.
  • Hydrate between meals not during them to allow for proper digestion
  • Drink consistently throughout the day so you’re not drinking a lot too close to bed time

As far as how much water to drink, every one is different and it depends on factors like the climate you live in and how much exercise you get. One rule of thumb is to divide your weight in pounds by two, and drink that amount of water in ounces every day. Start there and see how that works for you.

WEEK 5: PREPARE HEALTHY RECIPES AT HOME

It doesn’t doesn’t have to be a something totally crazy, extravagant or complicated. Maybe it’s trying a new vegetable or whole grain you’re not that familiar with, or maybe it’s making a healthier version of one of your favorite meals.

Preparing meals at home is so important in feeling connected to your food and having control of over what goes into your body. The goal this week is to experiment and try a couple of completely healthy meals meals or even going plant-based for one whole day if you are up for the challenge.

WEEK 6: USE MEAL PREP TO SNACK BETTER

This week the focus is better snacking. While it’s not required to snack between meals if you’re hungry or feel a slump in energy, healthy snacking is a good way to maintain stable blood sugar levels and stay energized.

The goals for this week is to take time on Sunday to prepare some healthy snacks you can take on the road this week.

Snack Ideas:

  • chop up bell pepper slices and broccoli 
  • chop carrot sticks or buy baby carrots
  • cook 2 cups of edamame 
  • make roasted chickpeas
  • make veggie chips
  • stock up on nuts, dried fruit and portable fresh fruit like apples and bananas to take on the road
  • Checkout some healthy snack recipes on Basic Eats>>>

WEEK 7: SWAP YOUR SUGARS

For week 10 we’re focusing on reducing or cutting out refined sugar in your diet. Get in the habit of reading the labels on your food and avoiding products that contain white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

WEEK 8: ADD FERMENTED FOODS

The goals for this week is to try to a fermented food every day. Fermented foods are an amazing way to upgrade your meals and your health. You can buy fermented foods or make them at home. Eating fermented foods is a great way to get raw, living, probiotic-rich, gut healing bacterias into the body.

It could be sauerkraut, water kefir, yogurt, homemade kombucha, pickled carrots, onions or anything really! Everything in the health world right now is pointing to gut health. You could be eating the healthiest food on the planet but it’s what your body can do with those foods that matters. You’ve got to get that gut in shape and fermented foods are a fast track way to get you there.

 

WEEK 9: SWAP PROCESSED FOODS FOR WHOLE FOODS

We are talking about heavily processed, refined foods here, not packaged foods. Processed foods are items found in the freezer section at the grocery store, items that have a long shelf-life or foods that have been refined so heavily they no longer resemble the whole food they once were. Processed foods often have oils added to them, excess sodium and added sugar.

The focus for this week is to take one or two food items you typically buy that’s processed and swap it for a whole food option. This could be frozen pizzas, frozen microwave dinners, processed snack or breakfast bars or sugary cereals. 

WEEK 10: SWITCH YOUR OILS & FATS

Replacing unhealthy fats an oils in your diet with healthier ones can have a huge impact on your health over time. Most people are over-consuming unhealthy fats such as trans fats and refined vegetable oils due to the prevalence of processed foods in the average person’s diet.

High omega-6 vegetable oils and trans fats, often listed as hydrogenated oils, can cause inflammation in the body and that inflammation is at the root of a myriad of disease and health problems. Making the switch is easy

  1. Refer to step 5 and cut back on refined, processed foods.
  2. Switch to oils like coconut, olive oil and avocado oil and limit their use.
  3. Get your fats from heart-healthy, nutrient-rich foods like avocado, in particular focusing on omega-3’s from foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax seed and walnuts.

WEEK 11: REDUCE YOUR SODIUM INTAKE

You’re now 8 weeks into taking small steps for better nutrition! The focus for this week is reducing your sodium intake. Let’s take a look at how we can do that!

Due to processed foods, many people consume in excess of the recommended 2400 mg of sodium per day. Excess sodium intake effects high blood sugar and heart health so it’s an important aspect of nutrition to consider.

Hopefully you’ve already reduced your sodium intake by focusing on whole foods, eating more vegetables, cooking at home and drinking more water. Now we can take it a step further by reducing the amount of salt we add to our food. When you’re cooking at home, it’s easy to add flavour to your food without using excessive amounts of salt.

How to flavor your foods without extra salt:

  • Use fresh lemon and lime juice
  • Utilize plenty of fresh and dried herbs
  • Use dried sea vegetables for nutrition and flavour
  • Try vinegars like white wine, red wine, apple cider and balsamic
  • Use a variety of mustards like dijon, spicy and whole grain
  • Use lots of ginger, garlic and onion
  • Ditch table salt for himilayan crystal salt or other unrefined sea salt

WEEK 12: UP YOUR FIBER INTAKE

The focus for week 11 is upping your fiber intake. You should be getting at the very least 30 grams of fiber per day. It can help lower cholesterol, helps with weight control or weight loss, regulates blood sugar and promotes a healthy heart and digestive system. This week, try a few of these tips for getting more fibre in your diet. By the end of the week, you should be hitting that 25-30 gram mark.

How to up your fiber intake:

  • Eat an apple every day
  • Make a coconut yogurt bowl topped with high-fibre cereal, ground flax seeds and sliced strawberries
  • Eat raw carrots and broccoli with hummus for a snack
  • Have a serving of mixed nuts
  • Add chickpeas, kidney beans or black beans to your daily salad
  • Try a lentil dish 
  • keep up with your daily salad
  • Have dried apricots, dates, figs, peaches or pears for snack or dessert
  • Swap all white foods for whole grain ones (pasta, bread, tortillas etc.)
  • Eat edamame for a snack

 

These 12 small steps can be implemented at any time, of course but if you’re just beginning your journey to optimum health and nutrition, I would really recommend focusing on step at a time. There is huge power in small change.

We would also recommend focusing on this as a journey without the mindset that a healthy lifestyle has some end point in the future. It doesn’t. You truly have to commit to it and make it a priority in your life. It’s worth it and you truly deserve it. That’s what health living is, it’s treating yourself with the respect and love that you deserve.

You deserve to feel your best have the energy and confidence to live life to it’s fullest. Better nutrition will have a positive impact on every single area of your life. You can do this. Don’t give up, just take one step at a time!

If you need some guidance and accountability email us at info@basiclivingbr.com for some of our nutrition coaching options and work with us personally.

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Healthy Eating Simplified

With all the conflicting information on nutrition and diet, it’s easy to feel confused when it comes to healthy eating. But don’t worry, we are here to help you eat like a nutrition expert. If you follow my step-by-step formula, putting together nutritious, satisfying meals can be easy. The most important thing you can do when it comes to nutrition is “get back to basics” and ditch highly processed foods. This means focusing on whole-foods that have minimal ingredients. Ideally, the base of your diet should be a collection of colorful produce and leafy greens, with high-quality proteins and fats sharing second place on your plate.

If you are seeking a personalized meal plan and accountability, see our Basic Nutrition page on the website for more information about our services and programs.

HEALTHY EATING 101: DITCH THE PROCESSED FOODS & EAT A VARIETY OF COLORFUL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FROM THE EARTH.

 “Eat the Rainbow” to promote health, and I don’t mean Skittles candy. Variety is key to ensure that you’re getting enough fiber and micronutrients. Plant foods are a wonderful source of antioxidants and have many anti-inflammatories. WE recommend eating a wide variety of colorful veggies and fruit, as well as varying your sources of high-quality fats and proteins. opt for eating at least 5 different plant-based colors per day. To do this, try experimenting with new foods and spices. It keeps food interesting, bright, and flavorful. 

rainbow food

Focus on Fiber, Protein, & Fat:

You want your meals to contain a good mix of fiber, protein, and fat. These macronutrients are the Three Keys to Satiety. They help keep blood sugar levels in balance and leave you feeling satisfied instead of deprived after meals. Try to fill 1/2 your plate with veggies, working your way up to 3/4 veggies, which is ideal. Next, focus on high-quality protein, healthy fats, and low-sugar fruits.

Eat to Balance Blood Sugar:

We recommend limiting foods that de-stabilize blood sugar. Try to limit your intake of sweets and starches, including those from whole-food, natural sources. Caffeine can also have a negative effect on blood sugar. These foods not only destabilize blood sugar they also feed the “bad bugs” or microbes that we don’t want in our gut. Last, but not least, make sure you are drinking enough water. Hydration is important for keeping blood sugar levels at healthy levels. Try to drink most of your liquids away from mealtime to improve digestion.

Maintaining stable blood sugar is vital for overall health. Limit excessive sweets & starchy foods to keep blood sugar balanced.

green bean salad ingredients

“One-size-fits-all” Doesn’t Exist:

Because everybody is different and there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet plan, we encourage you to keep an open mind, try new things, and find what works best for you. If you’re struggling with chronic health issues, then it’s especially important that you learn to pay attention to the way that different foods make you feel to pinpoint any possible allergies and sensitivities. You can learn to listen to your body’s signals and fine-tune your diet over time. Your nutritional needs aren’t a static thing. They change day by day. Some days you need more protein, some days you need less.  No matter what the diet, the goal should be to have as much nutrition and variety as possible.

Learn to Eat Intuitively:

Learning to listen to your body when making food choices is called “Intuitive Eating” and it’s a process that takes time. But the pay-off is worth the patience. If you learn to listen to your body’s signals for hunger and satiety you shouldn’t need to count calories or keep track of macros. When you eat intuitively you learn to build balanced, colorful meals with sensible portion sizes. You eat mindfully and stop eating when you’re full. You’ll know you’ve hit the “sweet spot” with your diet when you can easily maintain a healthy weight, your energy level is good, and you generally feel your best.

Hydrate Properly:

Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health.  Try starting your day with 8-12 ounces of filtered water before moving on to your morning coffee, or tea. Sip water throughout the day to improve absorption. If you drink too much at once it can go right through you and you will end up peeing most of it out. If you are having a hard time staying hydrated, even when drinking enough fluids, then you may want to add a tiny pinch of mineral sea salt to your water. You can also add mineral drops, electrolytes, or lemon juice to combat dehydration. Coconut water can help keep you hydrated and is a better choice than typical sports drinks, but don’t overdo it, because it contains quite a bit of sugar.

BASIC HEALTHY EATING FORMULA

Base:

 A variety of Leafy Greens cooked or raw. Most greens can be eaten raw, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to digest. If raw greens give you indigestion, then opt for sautéed or steamed instead. Baby greens, such as baby kale and baby arugula, are often more tender than their adult counterparts and are great raw, or cooked. 

 

Bulk:

Non-Starchy & Starchy Veggies for fiber and complex carbs. If you are avoiding grains and beans, then bulk up your meals with hearty veggies. Even if you aren’t avoiding grains and beans, I still recommend including at least 1 cup of hearty veggies per meal. 

Protein:

High-Quality Protein from whole-food sources such as pasture-raised eggs and meat, wild caught fish, nuts and seeds, peas and legumes, if tolerated. The quality of animal products makes a huge difference in nutritional content (these foods can be expensive, so do the best you can with your budget)

 

Fat:

Healthy Fats like avocado, coconut, fatty fish, olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Don’t fear fats! They are essential for health in many ways. You need them for brain health, to build healthy cell walls, and to absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as Vitamins A and E. I recommend eating high-quality fats with every meal.

Optional, but highly recommended:

 
Ferments:

For gut health,  we recommend including traditionally fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Pickled Veggies, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, etc…These foods can help improve digestion by adding beneficial microbes into your digestive tract. If dairy is a no-no for you, but you want to enjoy yogurt, er recommend looking for a high-quality coconut yogurt that is free from additives and fillers.

flair food

Flavor:

Spices & Seasonings are essential for keeping things interesting in the kitchen & also increase nutrient density. Turmeric and Black Pepper work together to fight inflammation in the body, as do ginger, and cinnamon. Experimenting with new spices is the best way to add a fresh take to “old” ingredients. 

 

Flair:

Garnish is like the icing on your healthy eating bowl. Microgreens are beautiful, tasty, and often pack in more nutrients than their adult counterparts. Black sesame seeds, black cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and nori seaweed flakes are wonderful additions to a meal. Dill, fennel greens, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, and other herbs all add nutrients while also making food pretty. And let’s be honest, pretty food really does taste better.

 

Special Considerations:

Since most things in life aren’t “black and white”, remember that certain health conditions may require a specialized diet where you must avoid or limit foods that are generally thought of as nutritious. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic health condition that requires you to follow a special dietary protocol I’m here to help. Contact me to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss the ways in which Basic Nutrition can support you on your nutrition and health journey. For those of you without special needs, the  basic nourish bowl formula should do the trick. You can always check out our Instagram @the_basic_eats and @basiclivingbr for more healthy eating inspiration, fitness tips, and more.